Sunday, October 23, 2011

Deadfall - New Light

Deadfall
New Light
Independent Release

Worcester (Massachusetts, U.S.) based outfit Deadfall is a newly formed musical project from recent Berklee Collage Of Music graduate Eddie Kim (Guitars and drum programming) and Sean Dusoe (Bass), who have released their debut E.P. in the form of ‘New Light’. Deadfall’s sound and direction is very much within the ‘djent’ mould, which means that stylistically, the band’s music is in the same musical vein as Periphery, Tesseract and Meshuggah.
Comprising of five tracks, Deadfall open up proceedings with ‘Shades Of Inception’, which starts off gently, before the pair settle into a grinding groove of bending riffs coupled with warm rich bass tones. Unlike some of the other ‘djent’ acts mentioned above, Deadfall manages to keep things quite melodic and progressive in places, giving the instrumental duo a sound that’s different enough to be quite interesting. The only real negative that can be drawn from ‘Shades Of Inception’ is that the programmed drums do sound artificial at times, and that the production (Courtesy of Kim and Dusoe) is a little thin in places. But despite these small niggling points, the song itself is strong and original enough to stand out for all the right reasons.
From here, Deadfall don’t alter the formula too much, with the follow up track ‘The Divergence’ sticking closely to the direction the opener took (A slow build up, followed by some brutal riffing over an atmospheric backdrop), while ‘In Death’s Path’ does signal a slight departure in tone, with the overall vibe exuding a slightly heavier and menacing feel with its jagged riffing and complex Meshuggah-like odd time signature notes adding the songs darker vibe.
The title track ‘New Light’ is definitely a favourite with its strong melodic slant and progressive overtones, while the closer ‘Utopia’ is another stand out cut with the song sounding like a culmination of all the different ideas and sounds that Deadfall have in their repertoire. Aside from that, the song is also graced with some tasteful melodic lead work around the latter half of the track.
Forging a new sound in the growing ‘djent’ movement is not an easy task, especially given that acts such as Meshuggah and Tesseract pretty much cover everything the genre has to offer. But despite this, Deadfall have managed to put their own individual stamp on things, with ‘New Light’ injecting a little more melody into the sound, and all without the aid of a vocalist.
Fans of the ‘djent’ movement will definitely find plenty to enjoy here. My only hope that is that by the time Deadfall are ready to put together a new album, they fill out their sound with a drummer, and that their music will still retain its instrumental prowess without resorting to a vocalist to provide the necessary melodic edge.

For more information on Deadfall, check out - http://www.deadfall.bandcamp.com/

© Justin Donnelly